Saturday, April 20, 2024

Report: Warner Bros. Selling Off Parts, Zaslav Hopes to Get $500 Mil for 50% of Film Music Assets and Publishing


David Zaslav is selling off parts of Warner Bros. while fighting battles on every other front. says Zaslav has hired top music lawyer Allen Grubman to find a buyer for the music publishing assets of the Warner films.

This isn’t Warner Chappell publishing. It has nothing to do with Warner Music, a separate company.

No, these are the soundtracks to popular Warner movies including Purple Rain,” “Evita,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Rent” several “Batman” films and many more titles, as well as songs included in films such as “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca.”

It’s actually unclear what the assets are — these are just a guess. Do they include the Clint Eastwood films, with all of the music written for them? And how will the Prince estate figure into a sale of “Purple Rain” or “Batman”?

Zaslav is said to figure the whole catalog is worth over $1 billion. So this would just be a half ownership. Currently Universal Music Publishing administers the rights to all this music. And that’s weird. Not Warner Chappell? I guess he hopes UMG, the most successful music company, will help bail out his overall debt.

What’s next? I guess we’ll see if Bugs Bunny has a price.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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